Thursday, October 2, 2008

Court To Moron: "You're a moron."

They told him to shut up and go home.

You are probably aware that a lot of people who don't really know what they're talking about keep saying that the Large Hadron Collider is going to devour everything (literally - everything) in a black hole.

It was everywhere just a few weeks ago when they were getting ready to power up the LHC to test it. Even in the grocery store I heard people talking about it. I resisted the urge to yell at them. Barely.

Scientists have said a lot about this. For instance, that the LHC doesn't have nearly the amount of power to create a black hole. Even if it did, such a black hole would be incredibly unstable and instantaneously vanish in a puff of Hawking radiation. Even if all that didn't happen, it would be so small that our sun would have turned into a red giant and obliterated the solar system well before the black hole could devour a single gram of matter.

The probability of this being an actual threat has been compared to the probability of your car spontaneously turning into a horse due to random quantum fluctuations.

What the LHC is likely to do is answer a lot of our questions about physics, and it will lead to incredibly advances in our technology. The LHC puts out over a gigabyte of data per second. Scientists created a new thing called the Grid to deal with that. Wonder if that'll find its way into the world at large.


James Jr said...

All may not be as certain at it appears...

The US court ruled that scientific opinions differ and the issue is for more than just physicists but the does not have jurisdiction.

A European lawsuit is still active and a US appeal of the jurisdiction ruling is expected.

Contrary to public relations statements from CERN and CERN scientists who are under information censorship directives[7], opposition scientist concerns are credible[6], safety is unknown.

Dr. Habil. Rainer Plaga[1] is an astrophysicists arguably more competent to assess safety arguments based on stable astronomical bodies than particle physicists. Dr. Plaga proposes risk mitigation measures including suggestions that CERN slow down[1], CERN's response is to speed up, some would argue recklessly.

Visiting professor of physics famous for his many significant contributions to science including invention of Chaos theory's Rössler attractor, founder of Endophysicis and contributor to micro relativity, Dr. Otto Rössler is concerned that CERN is focused on public relations and propaganda while claiming safety based on disputed assumptions.[2]

Objectivity and sanity is needed.[3]

[1] On the potential catastrophic risk from metastable quantum-black holes produced at particle colliders - Dr. Habil. Rainer Plaga Rebuttal (2008)

[2] A Rational and Moral and Spiritual Dilemma - Otto E. Rössler (2008)

[3], We must be wary of scientific research, Gerald Warner, (10 Sep 2008)

[4] CERN?s Dr. Ellis tells only half of the story - (2008)

[5] Particle Accelerators, CERN, and Doomsday. Prof Shahn Majid (2008)

[6] A 1-in-1,000 Chance of Götterdämmerung, Will European physicists destroy the world? Ronald Bailey | September 2, 2008


GWD said...

Tell you what. If the universe is destroyed, I'll pay you five hundred dollars.

James Jr said...

GWD, You write "such a black hole would be incredibly unstable and instantaneously vanish in a puff of Hawking radiation."

I'll eat my hat if Hawking Radiation proves to be true.

Dr. Hawking proposed several posible mechanics for evaporation. Many physicists either support or refute the conclusion but very few actually support Dr. Hawking's mechanics. (Dr. Higgs says of Dr. Hawking's particle physics work "[I]he puts together theories in particle physics with gravity . . . in a way which no theoretical particle physicist would believe is the correct theory. [/I]" "[I]I am very doubtful about his calculations[/I]"[9]). Some physicists conclude that quantum effects may actually cause black hole growth (reverse Hawking Radiation).

Dr. William Unruh (Unruh Effect) supports mBH evaporation but refutes Dr. Hawking's arguments stating "[I]The derivation by Hawking is nonsense, in that it uses features of the theory in regimes where we know the theory is wrong.[/I]"

Some physicists including CERN's Dr. Ellis support Dr. Hawking's arguments apparently including Dr. Hawking's time reversal conjecture and argue it is a reason we should not fear micro black hole creation.[2][8]

Other physicists published papers concluding that black holes do not radiate.

"[I]black holes do not radiate[/I]" Helfer[3]

"[I]…the effect [Hawking Radiation] does not exist.[/I]" Belinski[4]

"[I]infinitely delayed, too, and hence ceases to be physically effective[/I]" Rössler[5]

"[I]it is possible that in a higher dimensional bulk D > 5, the behaviour of the black holes is stable[/I]". Maia & Monte[6]

"[I]whether real black holes emit Hawking radiation or not remains an open question[/I]" Unruh & Schützhold[7]

[1] [url][/url] Effective Models of Quantum Gravity/Abstracts, W. Unruh

[2] [url][/url] The LHC is safe, Jonathan R. Ellis, CERN (14 August 2008)

[3] [url][/url] Do black holes radiate? Do black holes radiate? - Adam D. Helfer Paper.

[4] [url][/url] On the existence of black hole evaporation yet again On the existence of black hole evaporation yet again - VA Belinski Paper.

[5] [url][/url] Abraham-Solution to Schwarzschild Metric Implies That CERN Miniblack Holes Pose a Planetary Risk - Otto E. Roessler Theory a

[6] [url][/url] On the Stability of Black Holes at the LHC, M. D. Maia, E. M. Monte (19 Aug 2008)

[7] [url][/url] On the Universality of the Hawking Effect Unruh and Schützhold (2005)

[8] [url][/url], Particle Creation by Black Holes, S. W. Hawking (12 Apr 1975)

[9] [url][/url] Peter Higgs launches attack against Nobel rival Stephen Hawking, TimesOnLine (Sep 11, 2008)

Q said...

Many of these same types of questions came up with the deployment of the first nuclear weapons. There were many fears that the use of one would simply destroy everything in an atmosphere igniting fireball.

Clearly, in any science endeavor of this sort, it can be difficult to weigh the progress of civilization and the advancement of our science and knowledge against the possibility of destroying the world.

However, from all appearances, far more scientists are in agreement that the risk to world safety is negligible than the very small number that fear a world-devouring micro-black hole will be created.